We have another beautiful epitaph. Josiah followed the greatest commandment as no king had before nor would after. He was a good king, and his story is amazing.
We also have another instance of the son absolutely not following the good example of his father, and I’m really curious why.
In fact, I’m really curious about his children and succession in general. I really want to know what went down when Josiah died. He was a good king, and his people mourned him, but his succession is very strange. The people take and anoint his son, but it isn’t his oldest son. The Pharaoh replaces him with his older brother.
So why did the people reject the older brother? It wasn’t because the younger was a better man, certainly not a Godly man. So what, was Jehoiakim already currying the favor of Egypt? Were they worried that he’d surrender or serve or whatever? He did tax the people to pay Egypt, so maybe they saw his weakness and tried to avoid it?
It’s very strange. And in an odd way, I think the strangeness might just support the whole point of this record. It seems like there’s a really good story here, lot’s of drama and intrigue, but it doesn’t serve the purpose of recording Israel’s descent into idolatry and consequential removal into slavery. All that is relevant for that narrative is present. Both of these men were evil. One of them lost to Egypt; one of them was willing to serve Egypt.
I don’t know. Maybe I’m reaching with that. I mean, I still wish we had the whole story.